Lucy and Cashman
Although it was still cold as the woman saddled the pair of horses, the forecast promised an unusually beautiful day. She was excited for the day, because it was the first day of her spring work. Along with the happiness she held a bit of nerves for it was also the first day of spring work for the big colt.
She knew the temperature would be to her advantage, but she did not know how he would begin his day. Often colts were difficult in the spring until they carried a few years experience. Even with experience the hotter tempered horses would prance around displaying their spring fever and excitement at being back to work.
After the drive, three horses were unloaded by their riders for the day. Everyone was cheerful with the sun shining down, and the horses were easily excited as they walked down into the heifer corral. Lucy jumped and pranced like the dressage queen she imagined herself, and the brown horse carried himself as a graceful ballerina. The big colt plodded along with the beautiful pair as the choice in a child’s book; which of these does not fit?
The heifers ran and bucked, beating the riders back and causing Cashman to grab himself and run momentarily. He held his head higher, tight and worried about the young cattle. He settled once they pushed the herd through a gate and made their way through corrals to where they would sort. Lucy and the brown horse held onto their heat. They danced and tried to work the cattle, and they each occasionally acted as though they might take a few jumps.
Cashman however fell asleep. The woman clucked and cued the big colt, asking him to turn back the playful cattle. He barely made the turns needed and refused over exertion in the warmed morning. The woman giggled in frustration while the cowboys grumbled at her incompetence. The sunshine and the baby calves however kept the happiness in the air.
After moving around the cattle and running a few through the chute, the riders sorted the heifers from their calves and prepared to brand. The woman expected to be ground crew for the branding, and she had asked the man to ride Cashman for her to rope again. Surprise caught her when her father told her to get her horse. He wanted to work the ground himself and for the couple to rope. She argued for a moment for roping was the treat and the ground was hard work, but she climbed onto the big colt with nerves running throughout.
She had never branded on him, and the man had struggled with him the few times he had the last spring. She’d done a lot of roping practice since then, and she hoped for improvement, but that did not stop the adrenaline from tingling. It proved itself unnecessary as they began roping. Cash was a different horse than he had been.
He roped like an old champ, while Lucy occasionally reared up and showed her own nerves. He made the woman laugh whenever they walked to the corner where the cows called to their calves. He whinnied to them incessantly. He acted as though they called to him, and without a hint of loneliness he talked and talked to the cattle.
The woman was grateful. It had been the perfect day back, and both her husband and her father seemed just as pleased with the day as she.
Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaam’s Donkey